Obamacare Explained

Feb 1, 2013

The Affordable Care Act is nothing if not complicated. Now a series of workshops aims to educate Connecticut employers about just how to comply. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.


Early morning at a Cromwell hotel and a group of business owners and some insurance professionals are trying to wrap their heads around pay or play, full time equivalents and  minimum value coverage. Anu Gogna of Day Pitney was one of the expert panel trying in this first session to provide an overview of the coming changes. He says while some provisions are already in force, next year is when the rubber will really hit the road for employers.


“The big thing that’s going into effect in 2014 are the individual and employer mandate penalties. And employers really need to weigh both options - how are they going to offer coverage, how are they going to make the coverage affordable. Are the exchanges a better option for our employees? So I think those are decisions employers have to make now, so that they can plan accordingly for next year.”


The difficulty in navigating this maze is that as yet, the map is incomplete. Many regulations surrounding the law are still to be written, and some employers may not know the premium rates they’re being offered until late this year. Art Stewart works for the Walker Group in Farmington. They’re IT consultants and hoping to offer technology solutions to other employers, but they’re also working hard on their own compliance.


“My head is spinning somewhat, realizing that if you’re a small employer without a sophisticated in-house counsel and legal department, you’re going to need some professional help. I think it may be hard for even well intentioned small businesses to comply effectively without professional advice.”


This was the first of several workshops organized by the Connecticut Health Council in partnership with the MetroHartford Alliance. The next will be held in March.